Nuwaubian “cult leader” and apparent pedophile predator Dwight “Malachi” York is facing judge and jury in what appears to be the beginning of the final chapter of his sordid life.
York is accused of sexually abusing minor children, through hundreds of criminal counts.
One witness told jurors yesterday how the self-proclaimed “Imperial Grand Potentate,” now known as “Chief Black Thunderbird Eagle,” regularly molested her beginning at the age of 8 reports the Athens Banner-Herald.
The “cult leader” allegedly created a contingent of child sex-slaves, and at least 13 of his purported victims have come forward as potential witnesses reports Associated Press.
These minor children reportedly often went hungry and struggled in substandard living conditions while the “cult leader” led a lifestyle of luxury, as a seemingly absolute ruler.
Hopefully, the York case will focus needed attention on the issue of the plight of children within destructive cults.
Kids in cults are most often brought into such groups like so much baggage when parents join. They have no choice, and are instead dependent upon their family to make choices for them. Subsequently, they may suffer whatever hardships and/or abuse is meted out by a cult, often with no meaningful protection.
The safeguards and advocacy, which are usually readily available to mainstream kids through concerned parents, schools, neighbors or child protection services, are not typically accessible to minors housed within cult compounds.
Cult parents typically rely upon their leader’s value judgements, whatever the leader says is right is right and whatever the leader says is wrong is wrong.
Morality may become situational and essentially subject to the whims of someone like York.
Historically, in many cults parents have actually cooperated in the harm done to their own children, through medical neglect, brutal physical punishment and at times sexual abuse.
Reports of child abuse and/or endangerment has surfaced repeatedly in groups such as the Waco Davidians, Children of God, Word of Faith Fellowship, The Church of God Restoration and the so-called “Twelve Tribes,” just to name a few.
Courts have increasingly ruled that parental prerogatives do not include doing anything in the name of religion.
Most of York’s followers remain faithful despite the horrible crimes he is accused of, even though the “cult leader” confessed in a plea agreement, which was ultimately rejected.
The judge apparently felt 15 years was not enough prison time for the admitted child molester.
York’s devotees prefer to see his criminal prosecution as “persecution,” the end result of a conspiracy concocted by law-enforcement together with disgruntled former members. And some have said York’s confession was the result of “torture.”
Such bizarre claims do seem to indicate that the Nuwaubians, like other “cult” members reported about in the past, are deeply “brainwashed.” Perhaps they are so personally invested in the mythology York created and have sacrificed so much; they are unable to move on.
Sadly, the children of this faithful remnant remain prisoners of the “cult” until their parents break free from the mental and emotional bondage wrought by York.
The Nuwaubian leader will likely end his life in prison. But despite that punishment, nothing can restore the innocence of the children he victimized.